First-Crop Sires: Arrogate progeny picking up

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November 15th, 2021

The sadly-missed Arrogate is slowly starting to pick up as a sire, with the former champion’s tally of winners now up to six.

Rated by some agencies as the best North American-trained horse of the 2010s after phenomenal victories in the Travers S. (G1), Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Pegasus World Cup (G1), and Dubai World Cup (G1), Arrogate was sadly lost to the breeding industry in 2020 having produced only three crops.

His first foals hit the track this year, and not unlike their sire—Arrogate didn’t race until April of his three-year-old season—they have taken time making their mark. As of Nov. 15, six of his 23 first-crop runners had won races.

As mentioned in an earlier post, Arrogate’s first two winners—Adversity and Affable Monarch—scored their victories on the same day, Sept. 6. Both have since tackled stakes company, with Affable Monarch second in the Rocky Run S. at Delaware Park on Oct. 16 and Adversity fourth in the Joseph A. Gimma S. at Belmont Park Sept. 24.

That same post also described how Apprehend finished second on debut over 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar. Visually, it didn’t look great, given he was 4 1/4 lengths behind the winner. But that winner was Corniche, who won the American Pharoah S. (G1) and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in his two subsequent starts.

Apprehend then moved to turf at Del Mar on Nov. 14, but found five furlongs a bit short, just missing third. He should get better as distances increase.

Behind Corniche in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was the colt who became Arrogate’s third winner. Jasper Great could not have been more impressive winning a maiden race at Hanshin by 10 lengths over 1,800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) on Oct. 9. It was enough for trainer Hideyuki Mori to send him to the United States to become his sire’s first Grade 1 runner. Jasper Great found the going tough, finishing 10th in the 11-horse Breeders' Cup Juvenile field, but more will probably be heard of him.

Jasper Great was bought at the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase sale by Mori for $200,000. Out of the stakes-winning mare Shop Again (by Wild Again), Jasper Great is a half-brother to FrontRunner S. (G1) winner Power Broker (Pulpit).

Two winners by Arrogate emerged at Churchill Downs in the past two weeks. The first was the impressive filly Secret Oath. Third at long odds on debut Oct. 3, Secret Oath contested a maiden over 1 1/16 miles on Stars of Tomorrow day Oct. 31. Sitting fourth on the outer during the race, Secret Oath made a move on the final turn and left her rivals to it in the stretch, winning by 5 1/4 lengths.

Secret Oath is a homebred for Briland Farm. She is out of the Apple Blossom H. (G1) runner-up Absinthe Minded (Quiet American).

Four days later at Churchill Downs, Leddy started at 3-1 in a six-furlong maiden claiming race. He was in front from the start, and although the field was tightly bunched at the top of the stretch, Leddy raced clear from there to score a decisive 7 1/4 length victory. The $90,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase is out of the Storm Boot mare Bootery, previously the dam of Indiana Derby (G2) winner Neck ‘n Neck.

Winner number six came at Gulfstream Park on Nov. 12 courtesy of Alittleloveandluck. Racing on the new all-weather track over one mile and 70 yards, Alittleloveandluck was favored after finishing third at Parx in her previous start. After running just behind the pace, she took over at the top of the stretch and fought strongly all the way to the line with Cascade Park, winning by a nose in the track-record time of 1:42.52.

A $135,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase, Alittleloveandluck is out of Points of Grace (Point Given), a champion grass mare in Canada and the dam of Natalma S. (G1) winner Victory to Victory (Exchange Rate).

As may be expected for a late-maturing stallion, most of Arrogate’s runners need some distance to show their best. The average winning distance for his progeny is 7.22 furlongs, which is significantly higher than all other first-crop sires with more than one winner this year.

Arrogate hasn’t made the start that fellow first-crop sires Gun Runner, Connect, and Practical Joke have made. But all of those sires raced as two-year-olds, with Gun Runner and Practical Joke being juvenile winners. With Arrogate's progeny showing ability and stamina as they mature, there is reason to hope there will be some good three-year-olds to come.

About the series

Freshman Orientation is a series highlighting five different sires with a first crop of 2-year-old Thoroughbreds. Could the juveniles show up at the Breeders' Cup, or even the 2022 Kentucky Derby? Follow along and find out!